Exactly seven years ago, the world was introduced to a very special group of girls. They were young and inexperienced, but also eager and determined to show everyone what they could do. Since then, they have become the representative girl group of Korea, performed on far bigger stages, and gone further than any could have imagined. In celebration of Girls’ Generation’s seventh anniversary, here are seven words that attempt to describe what could fill several books: the personalities, stories, and journey of Girls’ Generation.

1. Nine

Though it is undoubtedly the cheesiest choice on this list, “nine” is certainly one of the first that must come to mind when any fan hears the words “Girls’ Generation”. After seven years as a group, the nine girls who stepped on stage at SBS’s “Inkigayo” on August 5th, 2007 have remained as one still today. Now, nine has become something that means a family, a lucky number, and something fans hold sacred. It is a symbol of how much the members must love each other and their fans to have stayed together all these years. With nine, each member has eight friends who are as close as sisters to support her in every way. They experience each other’s joys and success, and comfort one another in times of sadness and struggle, things they will surely do long after Girls’ Generation has ended. After all, forever nine.

2. Harmony

In the world of K-Pop, it’s easy to get lost in the impeccable choreography, the flashy outfits, the beautiful faces accompanied by bright lights and brighter smiles. And Girls’ Generation undoubtedly has all of the above, and then some. But what we often forget about is actually one of the girls’ greatest gifts: their music. Of course, it’s difficult to pinpoint vocal prowess in an industry so full of strong techno backbeats and voice synthesizers, but the girls have released enough ballads these past seven years for us to know the difference. And those rare moments of acapella: with barely an instrumental, so Girls’ Generation can completely shine through, only drive home the fact that we have nine spectacular voices that really need some more time in the spotlight.

Because the beauty of having nine members is that it doesn’t have to be a competition of who gets more solo lines or who gets more camera time. It’s the harmonies they create on stage—and off stage as well, in a slightly different sense—that really make them worth listening to, worth following, worth dedicating our time towards. When we sit back and let the richness of the chorus in “Goodbye” wash over us, or when the strength with which the opening of “Into the New World” hits us, we know that this is no ordinary group we’ve decided to become fans of. This is Girls’ Generation, in all their harmonious glory.

3. Grateful

One of the best parts about a comeback—when Girls’ Generation releases a new music video, a new single, or appears on a music show to promote the latest and greatest—is just being able to witness “The Nation’s Girl Group” operating at the peak of their powers. “역시 소녀시대,” we say: “As expected, it’s Girls’ Generation.” This recent round of promotions in Korea, the girls flipped the script—”역시 소원”: “As expected, it’s SONEs”. Indeed, it was in the unusual circumstance of Girls’ Generation being pitted in a tight battle for number one that we had the rare opportunity to see K-Pop’s most powerful relationship in action. SONEs care about the girls—everyone knows that. It’s in the fiber of our being to pour our hearts out and go to battle for our nine idols; but the secret is—the secret that you don’t get let in on without being part of the fandom—is that the girls care in return. There’s more than just celebrity lip service here. There is real care, compassion, concern, and love. We smile together, we cry together, we revel and worry together. It’s not a bad life, being a SONE. You just know, as much as you care about the girls, the feeling is likely mutual.

4. Silly

They’re beautiful. They’re talented. They’re also… kind of downright silly sometimes. We fall in love with Girls’ Generation for the glitz and glamour—the perfectly synchronized choreography, the beautifully constructed harmonies of each chorus, the stunning beauty and on-stage charisma—but sometimes, it’s when the girls are just girls that we feel closest to them. We really only get glimpses behind the veil, whether in the form of an offhand variety show appearance, a short clip on social media, or some other promotional video, and it’s through these windows into their world that we get the chance to see what they’re like without the show. What they find funny, how they have fun, what they joke about. The girls of Girls’ Generation can be characterized in a lot of ways, but their fun-loving nature is certainly something fans hold near and dear.

5. Hardworking

Whether fans see it or not, the members of Girls’ Generation are constantly busy. From album preparations to drama filmings, Girls’ Generation is always working, and in the past seven years, the members have done it all.  Collectively, they are singers, television stars, movie stars, musical actresses, film dubbers, dancers, DJs, MCs, models, fashion experts, skiers, dog trainers, and pitchers. They have endorsed everything from chicken to beds (even in countries other than Korea), earned an incredible amount of frequent flyer miles, and appeared on countless television programs. They have experienced sleepless nights and round-the-clock schedules to record music videos and perform around the world. All for their fans, they work harder than anyone could ever know.

6. Aspiring

We all remember that moment seven years ago, when Taeyeon wandered out into the night to yell, “I can do it!” to the world. It doesn’t matter when exactly we each became a SONE—we all know about that precious moment, and it’s probably one of many that ended up winning our hearts, wherever we may be. Taeyeon knew that Girls’ Generation had a long road ahead of them, and perhaps she needed to reassure herself as much as anyone else that it would be possible to succeed. Yes, in the face of all odds, these nine girls always looked forward, always took the next step, always pointed towards that far-off goal.

Now, seven years later, we’d be lying if we said they haven’t come a long way. Internationally recognized as South Korea’s “number one girl group”, Girls’ Generation is arguably at the very top right at this moment, and will retain that position for a long time to come. So how can it get any better? But the answer is simple: it can. Becoming the leaders of Hallyu doesn’t mean that it’s the end; there are still Tiffany’s plans for world domination, after all. And why stop there? Taeyeon has said more recently (that night seven years ago is a long way behind her now) that they would like to even conquer outer space, one day. And we can confidently agree that, with Girls’ Generation, anything is possible.


7. Indestructible

Sources: SMTOWNnow, AbqpdA@YouTube.com, shun1990s@YouTube.com, polarbearvy@YouTube.com, camzjauregui@YouTube.com, soshifiedgenie7@YouTube.com, shoutwithoutasound@YouTube.com
Written by: bhost909@soshified, moonrise31@soshified, DWGKD@soshified

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